Links 5/28/17

Readers, I apologize for the excessive number of links. Grab a cup of coffee. –lambert

Brood Awakening: 17-Year Cicadas Emerge 4 Years Early Scientific American

Cowbirds’ Secret Identity Is Unlocked By A Vocal Password Science (RS).

Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET Science Daily (EM).

British Airways cancels all flights from London after computer outage Los Angeles Times

Chipotle says ‘most’ of its restaurants were infected with credit card stealing malware The Verge (Re Silc).

The last stage of the Brazilian coup the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens


Down The Drain The Caravan

Sacked IT employees approaching unions for support Economic Times

India bans sale of unproductive cattle for slaughter FT


Eurogroup Transcripts Reveal IMF Still Not Convinced of Greek Debt Sustainability Greek Reporter

UN Cyprus envoy to end shuttle diplomacy as sides fail to agree conditions Reuters


Stratfor looks at Afghanistan and sees a Conflict With No Time Limit Fabius Maximus


‘Sorted’ by MI5: How UK government sent British-Libyans to fight Gaddafi Middle East Eye

Terrorism: Libya’s civil war comes home to Manchester FT

The Manchester Bombing is Blowback from the West’s Disastrous Interventions and Covert Proxy Wars Alternet


Corbyn Says The “War On Terror” Has Made Manchester-Style Attacks More Likely Buzzfeed (SS). Corbyn: “We must be brave enough to admit the ‘war on terror’ is simply not working,”

Corbyn’s Manchester comments a risk but poll gap narrows Irish Times

Exclusive Telegraph ORB poll: Labour narrows gap to six points as women voters surge towards Jeremy Corbyn Telegraph

General election 2017: latest poll shows Tory lead cut to five points as Corbyn closes in The Times

U.K. Millennial Vote Sign-Ups Beat Brexit in Labour Boost Bloomberg

UK election: Dissecting Labour’s advance in the polls FT

Revealed: Conservatives revise down their internal election projections The Spectator

Election 2017: Tories to relaunch Theresa May campaign The Weekend Australian (originally from The Times).

May’s groupthink Stumbling and Mumbling

New Cold War

Security Breach Harpers. Must-read on “Trump’s tussle with the bureaucratic state.” Here’s the This is Hell podcast’s interview with the author, Michael J. Glennon (not up at the regular site as of this writing). And:

[C]onsider the price of victory if the security directorate were somehow to establish itself as a check on those presidential policies — or officials — that it happened to dislike. To formally charge the bureaucracy with providing a check on the president, Congress, or the courts would represent an entirely new form of government, a system in which institutionalized bureaucratic autocracy displaces democratic accountability. … As a creature of the people’s elected institutions, the bureaucracy was never intended to be a coequal of Congress, the courts, and the president. Bureaucracy doesn’t even appear in the constitutional design that emerged from Philadelphia in 1787. Under the Constitution, power is delegated to the intelligence bureaucracy, not by it.

Or not! If liberal Democrats believe that the danger from Trump is so overwhelming that a change in the Constitutional order is necessary to depose him, then so be it. But let them at least be honest about the Rubicon they seek to cross.

The Beltway Foreign-Policy ‘Blob’ Strikes Back The American Conservative. A bit stale, but worth a read.

The Liberal Order Is Rigged Foreign Affairs. From the heart of The Blob…

The Real Foreign Policy Scandal Is Its Sabotage By Trump Enemies Moon of Alabama

The blend of history Reuters. “What’s clear is that Western capitalism needs better cheerleaders.” Barack, Barack, he’s our man! If he can’t do it, no one can!

How Can NATO Best Address the Russian Threat? Der Spiegel

Trump’s Plan for Middle East Peace Could Actually Work Foreign Policy. Also from the heart of The Blob…

Zbigniew Brzezinski, ‘Limited’ Nuclear Warrior War is Boring

A fire broke out in the lab where the plutonium cores of the US’s nuclear weapons are built AP. Oopsie.

* * *

In shakeup, Trump to set up ‘war room’ to repel attacks over Russia probe Reuters

The dueling scoops about Jared Kushner’s plan for secret communications with Russia, explained Matt Yglesias, Vox. “Actual policy is the elephant in the room.”

Trump aide brushes off Russia back-channel fears FT

How Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia Probe Could Spiral Into Disaster Matthew Cooper, Newsweek

Sources: 3rd US Naval Strike Force Deployed to Deter North Korea VOA (detail).

The Rise of the Liberal Conspiracy Theorist Slate. And speaking of Louise Mensch, once more for posterity:

To be fair to Obama’s old law professor, it’s not clear what Mensch is “incomparable” at. So there’s that.

Trump Transition

The Memo: Trump returns to challenges at home The Hill

Trump says he’ll decide on Paris climate deal next week Los Angeles Times

What if US quits climate deal? Doesn’t look good for Earth AP (DK).

Trump Is Gutting Regulations That Corporate America Hates Bloomberg

Trump’s “America First” Infrastructure Plan: Let Saudi Arabia and Blackstone Take Care of It David Dayen, The Intercept

Trump Administration Conflicts Of Interest: How Gary Cohn Could Sell U.S. Infrastructure To Goldman Sachs International Business Times

TrumpBeat: A Budget With Math Errors And A Fraction Of A Wall FiveThirtyEight

Few Americans support cuts to most government programs, including Medicaid Pew Research Center

Some Of The GOP’s Institutions Have More Reason To Be Loyal To Trump Than Others FiveThirtyEight. A similar typology for Democrats would be interesting.

Democrats: Stop. Listening. To. Rahm. Emanuel. The Week. Rahm’s torture mill at Homan Square should be enough, never mind the rest of his track record.

No Clear Signals From Greg Gianforte’s Montana Win WSJ. To me the signal is crystal clear: Sanders had Quist’s back; the Democrat establishment didn’t.

New York’s Renegade Democrats Face Growing Calls To Rejoin Party Fold HuffPo. “Fold” is, I think, an unfortunate choice of words re: Democrats. That said, here’s a “pledge letter” from the “renegades” to the rest of the Democrats (more). What kind of Democrat wouldn’t pledge to support single payer? How hard can that be? Caveat that I know very little of New York state politics except that it’s utterly Byzantine, and that one is never cynical enough. For example, the pledge could be an apple of discord rather than a list of genuine policy commitments. So I’d welcome any knowledgeable New York readers who want to unpack the complexities.

Proliferation of hate and intolerance Understanding Society

Two men stabbed to death on Oregon train trying to stop anti-Muslim rant Reuters and Suspect in Portland Hate Crime Murders is a Known White Supremacist Portland Mercury


Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies” The Intercept (funemployed). Why, it’s almost like the flyover states are colonies…

Health Care

The Surprising Cross-Partisan Appeal of Single-Payer Healthcare In These Times.
Here’s who gets the blame if Obamacare fails (Hint: It’s not Obama) Bob Laszewski, CNBC

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Secret court rebukes NSA for 5-year illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens McClatchy. It’s so very odd that Sinclair-owned Circa originally published the top-secret ruling, when there are so very, very many journalists at WaPo and the NYT working the intelligence community beat so assiduously.

Class Warfare

‘Panic’ in Bangladesh factories as workers collapse in heatwave The Star. With humidity factored in, 51° C (123.8° F).

Alone on the Open Road: Truckers Feel Like ‘Throwaway People’ NYT

Just the Beginning, Yale n+1

Major Setback: These Harvard Researchers Successfully Cloned A Wooly Mammoth, But The Janitor Ate It After They Went Home For The Night Clickhole. The joke would have been even more excellent if a Yale janitor had been the butt of the joke. Eh?

The Lost History of Antifa Jacobin. Interesting, but a close reading shows three completely separate movements, each with a different social basis, sharing the brand (“antifa”) and some ideology. So the deck — “72 years after the triumph over Nazism, we look back to postwar Germany, when socialists gave birth to Antifa” — is deceptive.

Low Interest Rates and Risk Taking: Evidence from Individual Investment Decisions (PDF) Chen Lian, Yueran Ma, and Carmen Wang. I can’t vouch for the scholarship, but anecdote would seem to support the thesis (from January).

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. fresno dan

    Readers, I apologize for the excessive number of links. Grab a cup of coffee. –lambert

    Why do you say that – its like Carol Doda apologizing for excessive breasts….
    Really, can you imagine her fans saying, “put those things away….we don’t want to see so much”

    1. Eclair

      What I love about NC; I always learn something from the commenters. I had to google Carol Doda, but, now I know about her …. and a couple of my few remaining empty brain cells are filled with trivia about topless dancers. Thank you, dan.

      And, about the excessive number of links; I have been meaning to complain for the past week that I just can’t keep up!! It makes me crazy! And guilty. If my brain were not so filled with info on topless dancers, I could just, maybe, manage to keep up.

      1. fresno dan

        May 28, 2017 at 11:05 am

        Too much of a good thing is…wonderful
        Mae West

  2. fresno dan

    Secret court rebukes NSA for 5-year illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens McClatchy. It’s so very odd that Sinclair-owned Circa originally published the top-secret ruling, when there are so very, very many journalists at WaPo and the NYT working the intelligence community beat so assiduously.

    A cynic might note that it is mere coincidence (sarc) that this comes to light just as Trump is making a big stink about being “wiretapped.”

    1. Pavel

      Never forget Obama on the Jay Leno show: “We don’t spy on Americans”.

      So was he clueless or duplicitous? Given the number of times his press secretary claimed “he learned of this the same way you did, in the newspapers” perhaps the former. Or perhaps it was “mindful cluelessness”. After all, he always had a golf game to prepare for.

      Obama: Hear no evil, see no evil, do evil…

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          If you get confused, simply imagine B. Obama asking Pete Peterson, “How can I help?”

    2. Eureka Springs

      U.S. intelligence agencies conducted illegal surveillance on American citizens over a five-year period, a practice that earned them a sharp rebuke from a secret court that called the matter a “very serious” constitutional issue

      A rebuke. Oh dear! What comes after “very serious” and “rebuke”? twenty years of unlawful surveillance and someone steps down? All while FISA judges and spooks laugh at us/the constitution.

      1. Pavel

        Disclaimer: not a Trump apologist but…

        * GWB: illegal war, torture — “impeachment is off the table”
        * Obama: illegal war, illegal spying, assassination of US citizens, failure to proscute torture — no charges
        * Trump: campaign staff have secret talks with Russians — “IMPEACH!”

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          I think alot of people here want to see two things function, the law and our institutions. The hurly-burly of partisanship can come later but if we’ve lost those two then it’s systemic, not just temporary damage. So as I try to explain to my wife it’s perfectly congruent to decry the fact the FBI is currently knowingly withholding critical subpoenaed information from Congress without being “pro-Trump”. You might instead say I’m “pro-America” (and I don’t mean MAGA).

        2. Allegorio

          Why is failing to prosecute illegal war, torture, control fraud at the too big to fail banks not obstruction of justice, but firing a politicized FBI director is?

          1. HotFlash

            Excellent questions. Those of us who have Dem congresscritters need to be asking them these very questions every day. If not Dem reps, ask newspersons of whatever medium. Come to think of tit, we should be asking our R reps, too. Perhaps they are susceptible to ling-chi?

            Interesting! Apparently the term “death of a thousand cuts” has another use, in which we-all are the victims.

          2. LT

            It’s almost like dead bodies, families in the streets, and fearful refugees aren’t admissible in a court of law…or they do not matter.
            But the “good guys” wouldn’t think that, would they?

      2. Skip Intro

        Thank heavens they didn’t take off the gloves and issue a Sternly Worded Letter

        1. funemployed

          Does it even qualify as a justice system when the worst punishment elites get is a scolding with a side order of winks and nods? I suppose for the most egregious and public cases they might even suffer…god forbid… a public scolding!

          1. fresno dan

            May 28, 2017 at 12:10 pm

            If the encompassing, egregious, contemptible, and purposeful eviscerating of all constitutional rights continues, at some point, I don’t know when, there will be severe wet noodling…..of the building janitor….

  3. fresno dan

    The Surprising Cross-Partisan Appeal of Single-Payer Healthcare In These Times.

    As recently as last year, the push for a single-payer system seemed virtually dead among the Democratic establishment. Hillary Clinton ran on the promise of tweaking Obamacare. The liberal economist Paul Krugman wrote that Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” proposal was “just not going to happen anytime soon.”

    It really wasn’t all that long ago that at least repubs ACTED publicly like health care was a problem and they wanted to solve it.
    “Later, near the end of the town meeting, Gingrich returned to the subject again, referring to Frank MacConnell as “this gentleman who, I think, has a great idea and you now have us publicly in front of you and all these reporters saying we’re going to work together. And I hope we can develop a blue-ribbon commission pretty fast.””

    I have said every president is worse than the last. Every renewal of health care insurance is worse than the last. How bad before we get new parties?

    1. Paul Tioxon

      H.R.676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act

      Cosponsors: H.R.676 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Bill Information (Except Text)

      Sponsor: Rep. Conyers, John, Jr. [D-MI-13] |

      Cosponsor statistics: 112 current – includes 51 original


      All cosponsors are Democrats, 112 out of 193 current Democratic Reps. This includes all 5 of the Ds from my state of PA, the other 13 are Rs.

      Additionally, in conjunction with this year’s introduction of Medicare For All, Sen Bernie Sanders will introduce a Senate version, which he has in the past. As opposed to sitting around and complaining, many Democrats in DC are writing a bill that can adopted as soon as they take power in DC sometime in the future.

      1. Carla

        All 4 Dems in the Ohio delegation have signed on as well, most recently my Congress Critter Marcia Fudge, who no longer has to carry water for Barack.

        But experience with the Democrat party, Paul Tioxin, tells us not to hold our breath. If and when they ever regain a majority, they can be counted on to renege on single payer.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The Congress critters who have “signed on” but supported Hillary should be asked what changed their opinion on the viability of programs such as single payer.

          1. funemployed

            My guess (though they’d never admit it) is that what changed is the fact that they can now give lip service to the idea while knowing they are safe from having to actually enact it at any time in the near future.

        2. Oregoncharles

          112 is nowhere near enough to pass a bill, so it’s a cheap shot.

          DeFazio, my Rep., signed on after saying in a town hall that he didn’t like the bill. Maybe the pressure got to him.

          1. Paul Tioxon

            My area people don’t give a shit what they like or don’t like, we just want them to vote for what we want. So yeah, pressure is the point, it’s what changes minds. Same thing is going on here. Pressure brings out the changes.

      2. marym

        The Hill article is dated 03/26/17. Sanders’s “couple of weeks” till he submits his bill are long past. Peter Welch, who says he’ll introduce the same bill in the House, had already signed on to HR 676 in 01/2017. Sanders in the past has introduced a similar bill with some differences. HR 676 was already written in 2006 when Dems won Congress, 2008 when they also won the presidency, and 2009 when they had advocates arrested for trying to bring it into the “healthcare debate.”

        Until all these co-sponsors start actively advocating for HR 676, or propose and defend specific comparable bills; and identify how problems in Obamacare and any Republican plans can be effectively addressed by these bills, they’re just not credible.

    2. LT

      A lot of us weren’t around then, but can you imagine how bad all of the choices must have been when the US picked the same guy 4 times in row?!?!

  4. knowbuddhau

    >>>It’s so very odd that Sinclair-owned Circa originally published the top-secret ruling, when there are so very, very many journalists at WaPo and the NYT working the intelligence community beat so assiduously.

    So I guess “working the beat” in neoliberalspeak means “walking the street”?

    1. A Farmer

      I’ll take a win from Sinclair when I can (rarely) get it, but I’m pretty sure that if the Trump administration is spying on progressive groups we’ll get a full-throated cheering them on from The Company That Citizens United Saved. The only time we will get decent reporting is if their interests (making stacks of money, electing super-reactionary politicians and trying to damage the Democrats) happen to line up with our interests, as in the Obama domestic surveillance case. I remember watching the op-ed pieces on the local affiliate in the lead-up to the Iraq War claiming that the anti-war protests were organized by the American Communist Party. Sinclair makes Fox News look decent.

  5. Darius

    Corbyn is right about terrorism but the point isn’t to stop terrorism but to fight it. How can you fight terrorism if there is no terrorism?

    1. Jim Haygood

      If ye don’t eat yer meat, how can ye have any pudding?

      *bangs spoon angrily on his plastic dinner tray*

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      May had 6 years as Home Secretary when she was explicitly in charge of the subject, what did she do then? Did she mention the report that detailed the lies behind the Iraq War? Did she ever suggest addressing the root causes of the blowback? Sometimes stating the bleeding obvious is a courageous act of genius, let’s see if Corbyn will continue

      1. UserFriendly

        One of the stories said that with a 5 point lead that only gave the tories a 2 seat majority. If they didn’t get an outright majority and assuming UKIP gets no seats what are the chances of a unified coalition? Presumably plaid cymru, Green and SNP would lean towards labour, what about the Northern Ireland parties? Are they labour leaning or not? After the lib dems got crushed for a coalition with the tories I can’t imagine them doing that again.

    3. a different chris

      There is that saying: “Everything works until it doesn’t”. Up to now anything (terrorism, regular crime, unexpected job loss) scary to the public always helped the Right. The whole “Strong Father” crap. So it was unexpected that Corbyn seems to – not sure from across the pond, but seems to me anyway- suddenly have an audience for a different way to stop it. Unexpected at this particular moment, but history says that’s what happens. Stupid history, it needs to move a bit quicker methinks.

      Of course, Darius has the real meat of how it works at Our Betters level.

  6. cnchal

    ‘Panic’ in Bangladesh factories as workers collapse in heatwave The Star. With humidity factored in, 51° C (123.8° F).

    Bangladesh has more than 4,500 garment factories, many of which lack basic ventilation and air coolers, and which employ four million women workers at minimum monthly wages of $68

    The “system” has churned out a humongous mountain of debt, some 200 trillion dollars, which when divided by every human on the planet is somewhere around $25,000 each. Consider the baby girl born in Bangladesh coming into this world with that millstone around her neck, and a $68 per month jawb to look forward to.

    Globalization is a disaster everywhere you look.

    1. justanotherprogressive

      But according to the World Bank, those people at that factory aren’t in poverty any more…..isn’t that wonderful?

      And debt? Well, I guess that depends on how you look at it. That debt is owed to someone, and it isn’t countries any more……so their debt means some corporation’s growth…..and isn’t corporate growth good?

      Isn’t it interesting how today’s economic theories work? I can understand why younger economists are rejecting much of this stuff…..

      But sooner or later, something is going to give……wonder how today’s economic theories are going to explain that…..another “black swan”?

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Why not? They seem to be convenient these days.

          I read a “shame millenials” story a couple of days ago about millenials not saving money to buy houses. Why wouldn’t you know it, most millenials don’t even have $1000 saved to buy a house??? Yea…….start paying back all those loans working at crappy jobs and save money to buy a house too to so they can go into more debt…..

          Millennials are just our kids used as ATMs for the rich……and shame them if they aren’t providing enough money…….

          1. Allegorio

            Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money. How else are vacuous A-holes to measure their worth?

      1. Massinissa

        Now that I think about it, the arbitrary “if they make $2 a day theyre no longer in poverty!” argument doesn’t account for debts. If a quarter of that $2 goes to paying off interest are they still no longer in poverty?

        1. justanotherprogressive

          Exactly!! We say the average household income in this country is about $51,000, but we don’t say how much of that $51,000 goes to paying back debt and interest on that debt. It would be interesting to know how much real money each household has…..and where that puts them on the economic scale….

        2. LT

          According to World Bank stats, a lot of people posting here are in the top 5 and top 10 of worth.
          People are just numbers to them…that need to be standardized, efficient, and quantified.
          Kind of like Vulcans, but Vulcans demonstrated more humanity.

        3. a different chris

          Also, like I’ve said a million times, nobody lives on $2/day. It’s impossible. They live on things that aren’t counted in the “modern” world. I have a peach tree, my neighbor has an apple, if we eat our own or even trade fruits it doesn’t show up in GDP but amazingly we don’t starve to death.

          Now these people, way more adept at living off the land than my neighbor and I (who both have, sigh, “real” jobs) get in a (virtual) boat, stocked with goodies, sail farther and farther away. But once they notice the goodies are running low they don’t have a way to get back.

          Actually, seems like sometimes they do? Aren’t there occasional stories about Chinese working people that just pocket some money and then go home? Of course TPTB are solving this by flooding out their villages along the Yangtze…

    2. From Cold Mountain

      Ahmed said some workers lost consciousness in soaring temperatures, leading to others “panicking” and leaving the factories.

      Mohabbat Ali, a general manager of Shareef General Hospital in Gazipur, said nearly 200 sick workers were treated at his clinic.

      “They were attacked by a disease called hysteria conversion reaction. We gave them salines and first aid. They were released within an hour,” he told AFP.

      H,a uhm, everything is ok, it’s not the 125 degrees, you are just being hysterical. Why are you leaving, don’t you want MONEY?

  7. Torsten

    Re India bans sale of unproductive cattle :

    What are farmers supposed to do with all those steers? It’s not like they can send them off to war…

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Surprising they were killed at all in the first. place.

      I thought they would all be worshiped.

    2. Random Neuron

      What are farmers supposed to do with all those steers?

      They send them out into the streets to beg for food. They call them bum steers.

      1. ambrit

        Ouch! A blast from the past!
        While the commonality keep a wary eye on the bovine bindlestiffs, the Indian elites steal their lunch money. A scam as old as the hills.

  8. WeakenedSquire

    Chipotle: According to this report, Chipotle could have made the attack much less likely by using the new chip readers instead of easily-hacked magnetic stripe readers, but the chain decided against doing so because it would have “slowed down customer lines.” Instead, their customers have to waste time monitoring their bank statements daily for unauthorized charges and/or spend time and money battling identity theft.

    1. timotheus

      Or they could bother themselves to carry a few paper dollars to pay anonymously for their consumption. It’s SO inconvenient, I know, but then again you can’t be hacked by the U.S. Mint.

      1. LT

        Wouldn’t the marketing surveillance economy scream bloody murder if millions upon millions took part in a “cash only quarter” (3 months), where people used cash for all purchases under $300?
        Yes, that would mean a lot of going into stores physically.
        Would be illuminating…

      2. Vatch

        It’s completely ridiculous that some people use debit or credit cards to pay for a lunch that probably costs less than $10.00. A year or two ago, I was in a Panda Express, and their internet connection was down briefly. It didn’t affect cash customers such as myself, but it was a major inconvenience for the card customers.

        Debit cards are dangerous. If a thief gets the card number and the PIN, a person’s checking account can be drained. People should use cash for small purchases!

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban is famously blunt. So, when Inc. asked him in a 2017 interview to share his best money advice, the star of ABC’s “Shark Tank” and the owner of the Dallas Mavericks didn’t mince words. “From my dad,” he said. “Don’t use credit cards.”

          The one thing he wishes he had known about money in his 20s, he told Business Insider in 2014, is “that credit cards are the worst investment that you can make. That the money I save on interest by not having debt is better than any return I could possibly get by investing that money in the stock market.

          1. LT

            Yep. The idealized view of debt was supposed to be that it was backed by assets.
            Now it is being used more than ever because of lack of assets and/or income.

          2. Vatch

            There’s nothing wrong with using credit cards for large purchases, so long as one pays the full balance each month. Then there’s no interest. Unfortunately, sometimes there’s an emergency, and the bill is higher than one is able to fully pay, and then a person starts to rack up the debt.

            1. LT

              You’re able to do that because your debt is backed by assets and/or sufficient income.

        2. marieann

          I always have cash in my purse. No way am I using a debit card at stores I don’t usually frequent.
          My motto with money(and a lot of things) Trust No One.
          We had our debit card scammed at an ATM once and then online…yea you will get your money back, but what of the poor sod at the store…..I don’t believe the credit card companies reimburse them.

          I also like to be anonymous at stores…..I don’t need anybody tracking my purchases.
          We have never paid any interest to the credit card companies, we use the cards for our convenience not to fill their pockets.

      3. jrs

        well assuming one goes to the bank maybe once a week or on paydays, they might occasionally run a little short on cash if they didn’t plan and budget carefully with that cash.

        1. ambrit

          You have hit on the secret money making, (for the banks that is,) aspect of credit and debit cards. The cards make it harder than anything to keep track of available funds. Overages are common just as a side effect of normal daily living. Of course, if you were a virtuous and red blooded member of the community, you would be earning more than enough to keep a large cushion in those accounts and thus avoid any delinquency fees. So, as per standard Calvinist econology, the poor deserve to suffer the ravages of overdraft fees and service cut offs.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Oops 60% of commercial bank profits from retail customers are from overdraft fees and ATM charges, if that ended tomorrow we’d have Janet Yellen out there explaining how we all needed to pony up again because you can’t have banks subject to, you know, capitalism

      1. Alex Morfesis

        Dear holy spirit…I know I am but a simple critter but could you please start designing these “higher order” two leggers with some better sense and courtesy…thanks…

        Your humble servant,


  9. Emorej a Hong Kong

    Corbyn should go all-in, by highlighting rhetoric along the following lines:
    ‘The NHS and welfare state were created because voters recognized that Churchill’s successes in war and alliance-building did not earn him the right to design post-war or post-imperial society…

    …The May-Cameron failures in the war on terror, and in diplomacy with Europe, have not earned them the right to destroy the NHS and welfare state or impose their blueprint on post-EU society.”

    1. JerseyJeffersonian


      He’s too polite to go for the jugular. Kind of like Sanders. Might win the polite peoples’ vote, but you have to slip on the brass knuckles to bring out the people who despair of ever having someone who fights for their interests. You need those votes, too. Otherwise, you are stuck with half-assed “moral victories”. Whoo hoo.

  10. Amos

    NY State: the IDC (Independent Democratic Conference) is a group of 8 senators elected as Democrats who help elect a Republican as the President of the Senate in exchange for “lulu” positions which garner them additional $$$. The members of the IDC are then able to endorse all the most progressive platforms knowing full well that the Republican President will never schedule a vote. For instance, single payer has passed in the Assembly many times, but is never brought to a vote in the Senate.

  11. dao

    Trusted RealNews® site has the following as their “top ten” stories on their front page:

    1) White House scandal? Clinton aides know what that’s like
    2) Experts: Trump is obstructing justice in Russia probe
    3) Did Kushner seek Russian back channel for loans?
    4) Lawrence: Worst news yet for Trump family
    5) Trump White House readies ‘war room’ for Russia probe
    6) Senate widens scope of Trump-Russia probe
    7) Fmr. DOJ prosecutor: What is Kushner trying to hide?
    8) Fmr. Amb: Kushner’s secret channel query very rare
    9) WaPo: Kushner proposed secret channel to Kremlin
    10) Panetta: Russians ‘very successful’ in undermining FBI credibility

    Remember kiddies, always get your news from trusted RealNews® sites like

    1. justanotherprogressive

      It is interesting how the term “investigation” has changed. Investigations aren’t for getting at the truth any more, they are only for garnering fodder for MSNBC and WaPo headlines….

    2. timbers

      Here’s a thought.

      Trump should appoint his wife Secretary of State, who would establish the Trump Back Channel Foundation. Melania would accept donations from Israel, Saudi Arabis, Turkey, and maybe even Russia out in the open right in front of MSNBC and CNN and use 95% to pay salary to hire her friends as “staff” doing the good work of the Trump Foundation. If history is a guide, CNN & MSNBC wouldn’t say boo because that’s totally all right.

      If the MSM DOES goes after the Trump Foundation because Russia! Russia! Russia! or whatever, for what it really is, Trump can just say it was a stunt to prove a point – that they gave the Clinton’s a free pass and actively covered up the Clinton crimes.

      Maybe Trump could immunize his Foundation from deep state attack, by including a division to promote trillions of dollars of U.S. arms sales to NATO because to the “Russian threat” and aggression….because I’m guessing this is a big part of those interests whom the CIA and deep state serve…IMO it is THE point of it all.

    3. Ignim Brites

      The MSM, for misleading the Demo elite that Sec Clinton was a shoo-in, was the main factor in the defeat. We should therefore conclude that Cooper, O’Donnell, Maddow, Blitzer, et. al. are Russian agents. Or maybe Comey was the only Russian agent? Or maybe just Nate Silver.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Not saying they are, but it would be easy for them to spy for Russia and pass information by ‘interviewing’ Russian officials.

        Thus, only the most patriotic citizens can be journalists.

        And luckily for us, we have been, er, lucky.

    4. funemployed

      Well, at least it’s a relief to know that nothing else important is happening in the world

    5. cocomaan

      6) Senate widens scope of Trump-Russia probe

      How much wider can it get? Every facet of Trump’s entire life history is under investigation at this point, I don’t know who else the Senate can call in. His grade school teacher with a Polish/Russian/somethin-soundin’ name? Melania’s baby brother? Barron’s Minecraft buddies?

      1. Allegorio

        Everyone should take this very very seriously. Believe it or not Trumpenstien is the only thing standing between us and big cuts in social insurance programs, Medicare & Social Security. The Republicans are getting ready to cut him loose and install Pence the “entitlement” slayer into the Presidency. I never thought I would be saying this, but write your Kongress Kritter to nip impeachment in the bud. Despite all the damage that Trumpenstien is doing it could be a whole lot worse! Get ready for Nancy Pelosi’s Grand Bargain. Trust me the Democraps will “cooperate” with Pence on this, just wait and see.

        1. marym

          Trump releases budget hitting his own voters hardest

          The president’s budget plan calls for more than $1 trillion in cuts to a wide range of social programs with millions of beneficiaries, from farm subsidies to federal student aid. That includes a $600 billion cut to Medicaid over 10 years, despite Trump’s repeated promises trail not to cut the program. The budget also takes an ax to the federal food stamp program and Social Security Disability Insurance.

          I agree Pence would be a more effective evil, but Trump has already agreed to Medicaid cuts along with other social programs including SSDI. He’s not “standing between us and big cuts in social insurance programs” at all.

  12. timbers

    Corbyn Says The “War On Terror” Has Made Manchester-Style Attacks More Likely Buzzfeed (SS). Corbyn: “We must be brave enough to admit the ‘war on terror’ is simply not working,”

    This is very good for a politician. It can be improved and be made more accurate and precise, though it would probably be bad politics in Corbyn’s case in the short term:

    “We must be brave enough to admit the ‘war on terror’ IS terrorism and that the U.S. is the greatest state sponsor of terror, terrorism, and terrorists today if not perhaps all human history and the U.K. is close behind.”

    I like include statements like “in all human history” whenever plausible for affect at least with my co-workers because it’s an attention getter and bait for responses usually from those with establishment Democratic/Hillary views.

    As an aside, the Russia! Russia! Russia! thing on TV which I see maybe only at the gym is out of control. It’s hard to believe it’s gotten this bad.

    1. funemployed

      Dunno about all human history. The great Khan might be offended, or his bazillions of descendants. He could totally have beat out obama for the nobel peace prize if he were alive today.

      British empire was no slouch either.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I’d also mention the fun ‘n games in modern China, from the Taiping Christians to Japan’s Manchukuo sadism to CKS’ Nationalists to Mr. Mao

  13. dontknowitall

    Re “The Real Foreign Policy Scandal Is Its Sabotage By Trump Enemies…”

    Trumps’s critics may have many good points to make on mismanagement of policy, politics and personal behavior by an infant administration on its fourth month in office but the constant use of the epithet and demeaning names for the elected president by the critics indicates a failure, at the very least, to accept the situation and to deal with the real world.

    Beyond being a useless bit of virtue signaling, disrespect for Trump is a trap as it funnels us in lazy ways of thinking that imply this president is not worth talking to or making deals with. Thus significant opportunities to get better outcomes could be lost just as important issues are on the radar like the NAFTA, Paris accords or healthcare (not insurance). The world does not stop turning. I am persuaded Trump is going to be around for his full term and maybe even longer so hoping for impeachment is, I believe, a losing proposition. When we write about Trump I urge you to substitute whatever epithet you are tempted to use for ‘Mr. Trump’ and check if your argument still holds together, you would likely have lost nothing and gained much.

    Trump is an unusual person caught in a maelstrom of microscopic anatomizing by an unethical conniving partisan press. Who among us could stand such an 24/7 assault and not wilt ? I am amazed he has been able to survive this long because it is clear the effort was made to grind a novice politician into dust with a tornado of baseless accusations and force his voluntary resignation. When that did not happen further efforts, which now continue, are being made to separate him from trusted advisors and seek to place him in a situation of isolation and thus forcing him to quit. Underestimating Trump is a blood sport that many join and no one has won. Just as a reminder here is a list of the luminaries he has disposed of recently…

    Jeb Bush
    Ben Carson
    Chris Christie
    Ted Cruz
    Carly Fiorina
    Jim Gilmore
    Lindsay Graham
    Mike Huckabee
    Bobby Jindal
    John Kasich
    George Pataki
    Rand Paul
    Rick Perry
    Marco Rubio
    Rick Santorum
    Scott Walker
    Hilary Clinton
    James Comey

    Nota bene – As a Sanders supporter I thought of writing here the now standard disclaimer you see frequently on the intertubes that none of this should be construed as support for Trump but I would rather have Trump than Pence, Hillary or any other DNC-bot…

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Agree COMPLETELY, particularly with your nota bene.

      Donald Trump was elected because enough voters chose to participate in the election in support of the policies and sentiments he campaigned on–the unfairness of trade deals, “carnage” in the middle class, repeal of obamacare and detente with Russia, among others.

      These are his anti-status quo “crimes,” and for managing to bring these widely held sentiments to the very top of the government, he and his family are being viciously punished.

      While I don’t agree with everything he’s done so far, and what he will be able to accomplish remains to be seen, his willingness to persist in the face of the furious onslaught to which he has been subjected deserves and demands respect, however grudging.

      It was always going to take a “unique” individual to at least begin righting the many wrongs to which americans have been subjected for decades. Anyone who believes that worms like nancy pelosi or cory booker could or would get the job done is the one who needs to have his/her head examined.

      1. Carolinian

        I’m with you on most of this but it remains to be seen whether the reformist parts of Trump’s spiel were more than just talk. So far it’s not looking good. His biggest accomplishment may have been getting elected at all and thereby jolting the elites into hysteria mode. However should Trump eventually resign that too will be tossed. His best accomplishment now may be to ride it out and let the neolib/neocon faction of the Dems knock themselves silly.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Point taken.

          But lately I am getting the feeling that some of the things Trump is doing–the 59 missiles and comey firing as examples–are attempts to appease his tormentors and get them to back off. Let’s face it, after the vitriol heaped on comey for his hrc comments, who would have thought that the dems would take the position on his firing that they did?

          Since Nov. 9, the guy has not been allowed to get up off the mat. It’s pretty hard to know what he’d do if he was actually allowed to be the president, and not just a punching bag for every tom, dick and harry who’s desperately trying to hang on to their piece of the gravy train.

          I’d also add that this monopolization of the conversation deprives citizens of their opportunity to influence the policies of a chief executive who, it is snidely reported, just wants some love from the masses.

          Maybe that’s the real issue here–the peeps might be in a position to get what they voted for.

          1. johnnygl

            Trump may be brazenly corrupt and have plenty of terrible policies…however, he has proven to be a master of discrediting his opponents, or getting them to discredit themselves. The cruise missile launch in syria (helped discredit big media) and the comey firing (discredited clintonites for loving, hating, then loving comey) were absolute MASTER-strokes from that standpoint, even if unintentional.

            Really, if you wanted to put together a coherent narrative of trump’s political tactics, they revolve mostly around discrediting and tearing down his opponents and getting them to do it to themselves.

          2. craazyboy

            Nah,nah,nah. Trump is just playing the wrong game. His lizard brain says go macho and slap the bitches down!

            So the MOAB [very phallic], the 59 missiles [even more so], then the foope of sending the marines in the wrong direction to liberate Korea. Even so, it could be spun that they are outflanking China and will sneak attack Beijing into submission and then Beijing will tell Kim boy to “stop that!” This would be a fine example of 11 Dimensional Chess Thinking, so lacking in the Obama Admin.* Also, nothing sexy about it at all.

            What to do? The American sport of the exceptional IS FOOTBALL!!!! There’s your Model. Tom Brady and America’s Patriots! You study the enemy. You learn their faults and weakness [haha – that could take a while – so many]. You make a Playbook. [Try to keep it shorter than the tax code!]. The you Execute! [just a figure of speech, at this point.]

            You drive them back and back, relentlessly like a caterpillar tractor wearing a pink cotton pussy hat on each upright, steamy, smoky, but clean, muffler. Out past the hotdogs and beer concession stand [ nowhere to hid there – no job openings! Besides, Little Mario is next in line.] Out to the parking lot and all the way back to the minor leagues of Boston Community College.

            Only then can you be sure you’ve won and your enemies stay buried in obscurity.

            *Even the press would say, “Woo,Woo,Woo. That some convoluted foo-foo you do!” *

            *This is considered complimentary and supportive press speak.

    2. marym

      Agree with your nota bene. I thought the evil of Clinton or Trump would be so extensive that arguing “greater or lesser” was pretty meaningless (voted for Stein). I did think that if Trump won there would be actual, articulate resistance to policies, as opposed to the excuse-making of the Obama years…wrong. Pence, and anyone else in the line of succession, would be a more effective evil than Trump. Yet that’s what the Hillbots prefer, just for revenge on the candidate and voters who deprived them of their coronation.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The excuse making of the Shrub years was pretty awful.

        “Keep the powder dry Reid” was a meme way back in 2006. Lets never forget, “OMG NADER,” not Katherine Harris, James Baker, Warren Christopher, Gore, Lieberman, Brazille, Clinton, Rove, the Supremes and so forth. Nope, it was “OMG NADER!.” Remember Michael Moore begging Nader not to run again as if that was the cause of Shrub.

        If Jill Stein had done better with just votes in very safe states or not run the recount campaign, the half of Maddow’s show not devoted to “OMG Russia” would be devoted to “OMG STEIN” and how Stein betrayed all women.

        1. Massinissa

          “how Stein betrayed all women.”

          Including (or especially?) the white women who voted for Trump.

          Its so disingenuous how the Dems claim to represent all women in the country somehow.

          1. ambrit

            Well, the Dems seem to be trying to patent the entire gender of female humans. So, as a group, the Dems can argue that they represent the class of women. Individual dissents, and this can be stretched to include literally millions of individual women, treated as individuals and so deprived of any power they would have held when taken as a group, will be argued away as variants in the Dem defined “mainstream” of female humans. Lacunae or footnotes to be of interest perhaps to historians, assuming there are any, a hundred years from now, during the reign of Barbarian Princess Chelsea III.

      2. jrs

        I don’t actually mind the excuse making for Obama at this point, it’s all in the rear view mirror at this point. But even if one thought Obama was just the greatest, at least opposing Trump on policy even if it involves some hypocrisy would be an improvement.

        People opposed W on policy at least, and did not think they had to apologize for voting for Bill Clinton or something in order to do so. These days we can’t even rise to that level of somewhat (but there are degrees of badness and I would take Obama at this point) hypocritical opposition to policy. Policy isn’t talked about at all.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Did the Democrats oppose Shrub?

          I seem to recall the Kerry campaign message in the general amounted to “SMARTER WARS! FIGHT SMRT-S-M-R-T.”

          Of course, the Dems swept to power in 2006 after being perceived as moving to the anti-war column and immediately proceeded to fund the Iraq War surge.

    3. Vatch

      The election is over, and Trump is President. People should criticize him for the many terrible things that he has already done in just a few short months. Some examples:

      He’s given us Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator;
      Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary;
      Steven “Robocall” Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary;
      Tom “Privatize Medicare” Price as Secretary of HHS;
      Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, who supports private prisons, civil asset forfeiture, and maximum penalties for minor drug offenses.

      He has signed into law several rejections of reasonable regulations, via the Congressional Review Act.

      He has proposed a federal budget which increases military spending.

      He has proposed reducing Social Security disability payments and Medicaid.

      These are just the tip of the iceberg.

      I wish more people would criticize him for the terrible things that we know that he has done, and not for the things that he might have done.

      1. jrs

        The Dems are either paid off to be an ineffective opposition (this is the most likely scenario). Or if we are being more generous, they seem to be holding on desperately to a lottery ticket hoping it will pay off (they are going to impeach Trump on various charges etc.., while that may be the easiest way to remove him from the Presidency, it still seems such a long shot, and even if they win they only get Pence or Ryan etc But maybe they care more about Pence being unpopular, which he will be as he has none of Trump’s limited charisma, and running against him, than the risk of him being President.

        So they play this game hoping either for a big powerball win of Trump’s impeachment, and thus running against Pence etc. and meanwhile policies lose any resistance they might have. And Trump and Dems get ever more unpopular as Trump gets worse and noone knows what Dems stand for OR EVEN against except Russia. Trump has plenty a bad policy (I mean even wants to get rid of national monuments), seems to almost certainly be corrupt in various ways (direct business dealings with Saudi Arabia, unfortunately the Dems aren’t clean, but he’s really dirty etc..).

        1. johnnygl

          Personally, i don’t think the dems want to run against pence. I think they actually just like him better.

          I think i heard david frum on bill maher’s show (during that argument with cornell west) and frum said something like, “pence is within the acceptable bounds of awfulness.” that was a real tell for me. Let’s remember, frum has been rehabilitated by “the reisistance”.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            What is with the David Frum reunion tour? Are elite Dems that desperate for someone to like them?

        2. You pay, you decide

          “Dems are either paid off to be an ineffective opposition”
          This is the alternative that makes consistent sense. Looking at the top donors to DNC, none of them can be suspected of wanting single-payer. Would be seriously surprised if Clinton’s month in Hamptons were spent on workshops for wealth redistribution from the 1% to the rest or anything else that would make life better for Mr Smith.

      2. Vatch

        Steven “Robocall” Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary

        Oops. That should be ‘Steven “Robosigning” Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary”. I also forgot to include the appointment of Neil “Let the Trucker Freeze to Death” Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

        I hope people will use all of these misdeeds against every Republican candidate for office in 2018. Of course, for a Democrat to credibly criticize the Republicans, it’s necessary to actually be opposed to the bad things that Trump and the Republican Congress are doing.

    4. JEHR

      don’tknowitall: One aspect of Mr. Trump which is positive is that organizations like the G7 will learn how to pull together without relying on one strong nation in the group. Learning how to work with him, or without him, will make other nations rely more on themselves and may even make them more creative and powerful. The international community will learn to support the institutions they themselves have and will fill any vacuum created with their own ideas and acts. He just may be be the stimulant for creating a new world order which may be better than the old (or present) one.

    5. clarky90

      Very good post. I supported Donald Trump. When people demean POTUS Trump, they (often) explicitly, or implicitly denigrate the millions of citizens (friends/neighbors/family) who voted for, and support him. Talk about “hateful”?

      For me it is a David (Trump) and Goliath (the 1% and their Dem/Repub minions) situation.

      Following Trump’s trip, Merkel says Europe can’t rely on US, UK anymore

      “Offering a tough review in the wake of Trump’s trip to visit EU, Nato and Group of Seven leaders last week, Merkel told a packed Bavarian beer hall rally that the days when Europe could rely on others was “over to a certain extent. This is what I have experienced in the last few days””.

      Wow. Change we can believe in!

    6. Allegorio

      I agree with you and am chastened and will never again refer to our President as Trumpenstien, in as much as he was the creation of the Democrat Party and its media. I reiterate, President Trump is the only person standing between us and enormous cuts to social insurance programs, Medicare and Social Security. If there is an impeachment, that is what is it is going to be about, not Russian intervention in the Presidential election. Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence are getting ready for Grand Bargain 2.0. You think President Trump is bad, things could get a lot worse under President Pence.

  14. tgs

    re: How Can NATO Best Address the Russian Threat?

    The title is a nice example of begging the question. What threat? Does anyone really believe that Russia actually wants to invade Poland and the baltics? It is clear that Russia reacts to aggression it does not initiate it.

    1. oho

      Media + military + defense lobby need a villain. North Korea is a bit too much of a tin-pot and South Korea doesn’t play ball by being as hysterical as CNN.

      Russians tick all the right boxes. Their culture is ‘alien’ (from a Western-Catholic/Protestant pov), they’re white (so you’re not a racist by demonizing them).

      and Putin can easily be spun like a Dr. Evil/Blofeld antagonist—Putin just needs to buy some Mao suits from Hillary Clinton’s stylist.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        With only 145 million people, Russia isn’t an actual threat, so defense spending doesn’t need to be spent on defense but continued grift.

        1. Ernesto Lyon

          Also a much smaller GDP and military budget. Russia simply is trying to maintain its sovereignty against the globalists. Aggressive military policy requires outsized resources. You need a 10:1 advantage to have a reasonable chance of victory in combat. If you want to know who the aggressor is on the world stage look at the military budgets.

          1. Allegorio

            Nevertheless given the corruption of the US Military Industrial Complex and their vapor ware, the Russian weapons systems actually work and are far superior to the Pentagon’s despite spending far less resources on them.

    2. dontknowitall

      Look at the map…the article appears written from the point of view of an incipient german empire trying to build a buffer zone around itself and using the US and EU to do it for them.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Always look at who is setting the rules and assumptions.

      The rule is that the world uses the dollar as the reserve currency.

      It is assumed that everyone knows American English.

      And people must desire American culture. The implementation is subtle, through propaganda that, for examples, Rock music is the thing and you can’t be popular if you don’t dig it.

      One mental exercise that is useful discover the underlying assumptions is to ask how you can dislike something everyone likes.

      Perhaps, you can list all the things you don’t like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, or why pot smoking is bad (an exercise, remember).

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        For the record, the Chinese do not want the yuan to be a reserve currency, they’re smarter than that. They want the SDR.

    4. funemployed

      Huh. Hadn’t thought about how many MSM articles use begging the question as a fundamental rhetorical tactic. Thanks for the ammo.

  15. lyman alpha blob

    More hysteria from Alternet/Salon –

    Our media has the long term memory of a small swarm of gnats. Take out Trump’s name and the article could just as easily be describing the doddering and demented St Ronnie Rayguns or the idiot son of an as@#ole, W Bush. And screaming at staffers sounds like any number of politicians – it seems to be almost a job requirement.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I remember a week before the last election, there was an article about the Last Days in Trump’s Bunker.

      Most good students could not fail to pick up the Downfall theme from that.

      The only question is whether this is a rerun of the first one or is it Untergang II.

    2. Mo's Bike Shop

      As an alt-boho in FL, I fondly recall the tapes of Jebby! screaming in public.

  16. Susan the other

    I was unaware of Sinclair Broadcasting or Heat Street. Sinclair uses drones to scoop the others? Can drones be roving transmitters? And is it really right wing? Also the stuff on Louise Mensch is very interesting but not surprising – she makes Judy Miller look moral. We should all pray like Otters.

  17. Glen

    Re Catnip as a mosquito repellant,

    Is Science Daily 16 years behind in reporting the news? The research cited is from 2001.

    1. heresy101

      Respectful as they can be to the crushed working class of deplorables. Certainly, not the Warmongress’ type of people.

      Many decades ago, there were corporations that delivered freight that were organized by the Teamsters. They had decent wages and a pension and could drive from home and not spend their whole lives on the road! But the corporations wanted to drive down living standards to third world levels and were successful at breaking unions, including the Teamsters.

      When freight companies delivered the freight, drivers could live at home like normal people. Drivers would take a set of doubles out about four hours and then switch trailers with drivers going in the opposite direction and be home in about nine hours. When I loaded freight in Portland, our drivers would haul CA freight to the CA border and switch trailers with freight coming to OR.

      Now, the drivers barely make a living and are responsible for tractor payments, fuel, insurance, etc and have no life because if they don’t keep that truck moving they will go broke. Isn’t capitalism and “the market” great?

      Screw the Carlos Slim Rag!

    2. J.Fever

      I would like to see some analysis on why the conditions are so bad-what happened and why?
      I know what happened, the mega companies dropped their shipping rates to suck up the freight, but state that in the article.
      That is why there is also 80% turnover at those mega-companies. False recruiting tactics.
      You are not going to make no where near the average salary first year. Most don’t even last that long.

      What about this as well
      Pretty large portion of the blue collar economy that’s still intact, thus the push for automation.
      And yeah, it sucks as a job. The adage of “work to live, not live to work”, taken to a whole new level.

  18. LT

    Re: “The Blend of History”

    At the end, is an admission of the failure of imagination.
    Maybe it starts with imagining , if the author is even capable, that the entire world has important ideas to contribute – from the past and in the future – not only the West.

  19. Carolinian

    Great Harpers article. Supposedly in ancient China the government was run by the bureaucrats but they all had to be eunuchs (to prevent some would be dynast from taking the top spot?).

    Perhaps here in the US we should give in and accept a takeover by the bureaucracy and msm as long as they agree to the same anatomical bargain.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Admiral Zheng He was an eunuch.

      But in reality, eunuch ruled from time to time, not always. Histories, one for each dynasty, written by Confucian scholars, usually were not too kind to them.

      What they did in fact have had for thousands of years were mental eunuchs. They typically ruled for the emperor (or the regent, or the empress dowager) as obedient mandarins.

  20. gonzomarx

    Angela Merkel says Germany can no longer rely on Donald Trump’s America: ‘We Europeans must take our destiny into our own hands’

    but Buzzfeed has it as….

    Angela Merkel Says Germany Can’t Fully Rely On The US Or The UK Anymore

    1. Jim Haygood


      So can our occupation troops who’ve been ensconced at Ramstein Air Base since it opened in 1953 please come home now?

    2. Irrational

      Frankfurter Allgemeine has it as US and UK.
      Don’t think anyone has asked for the troops to go or remain and Ramstein clearly has its more or less official uses.
      However, what I take from this is that if Europe increases defense spending it won’t be because His Orangeness asks, but because they doubt the commitment and support of the US – and that is a major change in post-WWII politics!

      1. Allegorio

        What if the EU develops its own army and reconciles with Russia. The combined military will outshine the US. This is the nightmare scenario for Wall Street and the Blob and the real reason for Russian demonization.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Merkel bet the U.S. was too distant to upset German dominance within the EU and worked to keep Russia out. She like many others doesn’t have the experience to grasp Trump or a Trump style candidate was a possibility in the U.S.

          I suspect Russia isn’t going back to the EU as we comprehend it, too much bad blood. On an emotional level, the Russians have moved onto the BRIICS style arrangement.

  21. Ignim Brites

    “Corbyn Says The “War On Terror” Has Made Manchester-Style Attacks More Likely”. If Corbyn manages to pull off an upset that Blob will go into meltdown.

  22. Tenantlaw

    Re: New York’s “Renegade” Democrats

    It’s actually not that complicated. Landlords and Developers are the biggest players in Albany, and their biggest issue is Rent Control/Rent Stabilization. The “Renegade” Democrats split off, to support the Republicans, the minute the democratic party became a numerical majority in the Senate, when it immediately became clear that real democrats would have to put their money where their mouths always are, and actually re-impose strict rent regulation on the big landlords. (Re-impose: New York City had comprehensive rent control, both commercial and residential, from 1947 through the mid-1960s). The IDC’s “unity” call is nothing but theater. They can afford to claim to be for single payer because they have been historically supported by the health care unions, and they are betting that it won’t pass. But real democrats in New York are for rent regulation, and the IDC wants to pay it lip service while continuing to support loopholes that allow the rapid deregulation of what’s left of regulated housing. Same goes for Simcha Felder, the “Democrat” who sits with the republicans and recently earned a 100% rating as the single most conservative senator in New York.

    (Side note: the “Hillary for mayor” balloon sounds, to local ears, like a way for the landlords to finally make rent regulation into a means tested entitlement, the better to kill it).

  23. PlutoniumKun

    I’ve been amazed at the latest UK election polls, the race does seem to be tightening very rapidly, much more than anyone anticipated. Corbyn is not going to be PM, but a good result (say, within 50 seats) will be seen as a victory for him and will rout the Blairites.

    Corbyn has done well, but I think its mostly that the Tories have grossly miscalculated. They thought they could use the opportunity to destroy Labour (with, it should be said, the active support of Blairites). But by focusing their attacks on Corbyn, and gathering around May, they have made a big mistake. May has had a very easy ride from the media, while Corbyn has been attacked constantly. They can’t do any more damage to him, they’ve thrown everything at him. By contrast, the focus on May is showing her many faults under the spotlight. And it looks like the Tories are doubling down on a failing strategy by stoking up attacks on Corbyn. Just like Trump there comes a point where attacks just don’t have any impact, because of so much wolf-calling.

    Another surprising area has been the failure of the Lib Dems. I thought they would pick up centrist Labour voters, but they have fallen flat. And the Greens haven’t had any traction either, but thats down to the electoral system. This definitely favours Corbyn, as there isn’t much of a home now for non Labour Tory haters.

    If May ends up with a very narrow majority (which becoming quite a likely outcome), she is in big trouble with Brexit coming. Her authority will be severely weakened and will be very vulnerable both to the small anti-Brexit wing within the Tories, or more likely, the hard liners. She might also find herself unable to ignore the SNP and the Northern Ireland parties.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I posted that before reading the very good FT article in the links above (and note how pro-corbyn many of the comments are)

      The article points out that there are indications that Corbyns increase might be focused in areas that won’t do him much good in terms of seats. This is true, although without knowing how much the polling companies have altered their techniques to address the previous bias to Labour, its hard to say. But in Labours favour, this tightening seems to have caught the Tories on the hop, so they may find that they are wasting too much resources chasing seats that are now out of their grasp (the Tory campaign has historically been good at focusing on marginals).

      Another factor is the youth element of Corbyns support. This can be bad news on election day, but unlike Miliband and Blair, Corbyn has an enthusiastic base of supporters who can be relied upon to go out and knock on doors and can use social media intelligently. A focused policy on getting older people to worry about if the Tories will cut pensions and welfare, and on getting young people to turn out, could do a lot to boost the final seat numbers. I’ve no insights into Labour right now, so I don’t know how organised they are, but I do sense that the grassroots are enthused for the first time in many years.

      1. Dead Dog

        Thanks for the insights, PK. Working people everywhere can only hope that Corbyn does well. Albeit, I think it’s a few more years of austerity for my former countrymen and women.

        Not many gave Trump a chance either…

    2. LT

      Since the EU is taking a hard line on Brexit, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tories didn’t mind Labor being in the cross hairs for how deals turn out.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I doubt very much if that is the way the Tories are thinking – they love being in power and they saw the quick election as a way of destroying Labour and basically cementing themselves in power for a decade at least. Now things are going awry for them.

        I’m pretty certain Corbyn can’t win – the gap is too big. But if he was PM things could get very interesting with Brexit. Pretty much all of Europe – including her supposed centre-right allies – have given up on May and the Tories. They might see Corbyn as a new face they could deal with and arrange a sort of ‘Brexit in name, but no real change in reality’ face saving deal.

        But looking at things realistically, it would probably be a disaster for Labour to win, paradoxically. They would be faced with the enormous mess created by the Tories – dealing with a hostile establishment and media while trying to negotiate Brexit along with the inevitable attacks from the City of London (it wouldn’t be past them to engineer a financial crisis out of spite) would be an impossibility for an inexperienced government to deal with.

        I think the best case situation for the left is that May squeezes in with a minority government dependent upon Northern Ireland Unionists and others. Four years of a government like that would set the stage for a genuine left Labour revival for the 2020’s.

    3. Allegorio

      The Manchester bombing put the spotlight on Britain’s retrograde foreign policy kowtowing to Riyadh and Tel Aviv. May’s talking about bombing Syria if the US asks, can hurt her tremendously. When last Parliament was polled over bombing Syria, the out pouring of opposition was tremendous. Blow back is now on the front burner. Ironically Corbyn has turned the tables on the Tory fear mongers.

      Likewise, I think there are a lot of second thoughts about Brexit. The referendum was quite close. The most effective criticisms of Corbyn have been hippy punching over his being a security threat. It now turns out that the Torys were the real security threat all along. People now realize that Britain can never rout out all the jihadists, but it can stop provoking them. I believe that the otter is praying for a Corbyn victory, as should we all. The Blob will go ballistic if he wins, more so than if LePen had. Corbyn better start wearing bullet proof vests, if he wins.

  24. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: No Clear Signals From Greg Gianforte’s Montana Win WSJ

    Paywalled, didn’t read. But there was and interesting discussion this morning on msnbs between the despicable joy reid and Krystal Ball regarding Quist’s loss.

    reid referred to the Montana election as a “petri dish” for Sanders’ economic message, since the state is pretty much all white so there were no “racial issues.” reid’s conclusion was that Sanders’ message was not nearly as resonant as “the Resistance” suggests, since Bernie supported Quist and Quist lost.

    Krystal Ball argued that the election was not a petri dish at all since millions were spent tying Quist to the failed national democrat policies in general, and nancy pelosi in particular. joy did not care for the dnc / pelosi diss, prompting Ball to recount all the state losses suffered by dems over the past eight years.

    joy did not seem pleased that she was unable to effectively stamp out this annoyingly persistent pelosi spark. The struggle continues.

    1. funemployed

      Obviously, the fact that quist did 13% better than hillary in one of the reddest states in the country with a tiny, unrepresentative population means that Bernie’s policies “message” doesn’t resonate. I can’t even count all the holes in that logic. How did these people learn that they are the “smart” ones?

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Maybe the D party is like Obamacare – either one will fail on its own.

        No need to redo/change/mess around. Taking over, in that case, would be the worse than doing nothing.

        An alternative would be to start all over again.

        1. HotFlash

          We are where we are. Starting over would require more energy than we have and more time than there (probably) is. I, as on Old Person (official!) judge and recommend that we pick it up where it lies and go on. Pls ‘scuse golf-related analogy.

  25. Alex Morfesis

    Blair 2 begin campaigning 4 Corbyn Wednesday morning…he has no choice…Tony has to do a kolotoumba and give Jeremy a big public bearhug or his right wing laybores will be pasoked…

    It’s politics and as such, Blair can just show up at tube stations handing out fliers and wearing corbyn hat and t-shirt…it will take all of 30 minutes for social media to light up and his simple response to “hypocrites” could be something to the effect of…

    well if “this” Jeremy had been around, there would never have been any issues of supporting his leadership…

    and by thursday Blair can start doing interviews where he jokes of a mothership having replaced the old frumpy, disheveled adjunct professor fellow with this confident, assertive and reasonable new prime minister…

    Blair has no choice…if the plan was to watch Corbyn get crushed by May and the tories to open up a door for the formation of a new labour-ish party, that plan has failed…Corbyn at this point is the winner, no matter what happens with the election…and if the blairites do not start helping Corbyn, and he gets any closer, they will be blamed for putting their egos ahead of the needs of the country…

    Corbyn has planted his flag firmly into the ground…he is the new voice of the United Kingdom…

  26. Alex

    The idea that terror attacks in the West are some kind of blowback from various interventions carried out by US and some European countries in the Middle East and elsewhere. It sounds very logical, but it seems that it’s actually more false than true. As related in the ‘Who are the new jihadis?’ article in the Guardian (also linked on NC), the terrorists are not radicalised Muslims but Islamised radicals – in a sense of people having troubles with their lives and turning to Islam to find a meaning and purpose in life. It follows from this that in the absence of interventions in Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc they would find some other more or less legitimate grievance to avenge.
    An anecdotal evidence of this is that countries that Sweden which have not invaded anyone lately are not spared of Islamic terrorism

    1. David

      The argument is analogous to the (unchallenged ) statistical connection between unemployment and crime, much disputed by the same people who are bad-mouthing Corbyn. Not every criminal is unemployed, and of course not all of the unemployed are criminals, but the link is clear enough. Likewise, nobody doubts really that the phenomenon of islamic terrorism would not have arisen if it were not for western actions. And Sweden is very much part of the western consensus on such actions, even if they keep a low profile.

    2. olga

      So now the Guardian is the definitive source on the origins of terrorism? Really?
      All you have to know that before the US/West European wars against the countries of the Middle East (and Somalia, Afghanistan, etc.), there was no organised terrorism. Yes, there were sporadic acts for various causes – but nothing on the scale we see today. That ought to be the start of one’s “logical” analysis. (And Sweden is part of the West, equally complicit.) And don’t forget to look at the Carter administration’s support for the Afghani mujahadeen, which started waaayy before the USSR entered the country (at the request of the Afg. govt, btw). For the terrorism today, you may start by offering thanks to Zia-ul-Haq and the (now) dearly departed Zbigniew B.

      1. Alex

        Olga, have you read the article? I found it pretty convincing and read similar stuff elsewhere.

        Organised terrorism certainly existed before Afghanistan, think Northern Ireland or Israel/Palestine. It’s true that the scale was less but that is just correlation which could be explained by other factors. For example in those days there were fewer migrants and people of MENA descent in W Europe. Now you’ve got a large marginalised population and it’s absolutely no wonder some individuals turn to violence in form of terrorism. If not for the recent events in the Middle East, some other justifications would be dug up instead.

        For the record, I think that both the support of Afghani mujahideen and the Iraq invasion were reckless and stupid actions which brought innumerable suffering to the people of those countries.

        1. makedoanmend

          Are you seriously suggesting that the problems in Ireland, Palestine and the conflagration throughout the Middle East, North Africa and into Afghanistan have no other precedents other than the locals are “having trouble in their lives” and so turn to so-called religious radicalism? Poverty, persecution, and covert and overt violence perpetrated against their communities have no impact? Historical antecedents are not important?

          And might “having troubles in their lives” also include having their relatives, friends and neighbors turned into pink mist by foreigners?

          Nah, they’re just dissatisfied and they’re never terrorised by the violence visited upon them by foreigners on their cultures and societies.

          There are more than economic bubbles being blown in the West these days.

          1. Damson

            Is that post to Olga?

            The financing of jihadists – starting with the Muslim Brotherhood – has a long history.

            The secret services in both the UK and US used this organisation, as well as the recent spin-offs – Al Quaeda etc. for geopolitical – resource-control ends.

            There would be much smaller pool of European-born radicalised Islamists to exploit if the countries their parents and grandparents originated in hadn’t been persistently destabilised.

            The level of migration from the region is at its highest since WWII.

            That is a direct result of geopolitical machinations, like the destruction of Yugoslavia, invasion of Iraq, mujahadeen support in Afghanistan, creating Al – Quaeda from known criminals in Pakistan, British and Saudi financing of madras as, arming tank supplying thousands upon thousands for the overthrow of Ghadaffi in Libya, and of course the latest victim, Syria.

            That this onslaught of terror could have happened without the active involvement of state actors – billions in transport, communications, logistics, and distribution channels for smuggling, trafficking drugs etc. is very naive.

            The Graun runs a typical ‘limited hangout’ by focusing on a subset of a fraction of the whole.

            That way, the hope is that the sheeple continue to feel ‘informed’ and no significant anti – war movement emerges.

            Much less a return to international law, and even – scary thought – prosecuting for the war criminals who, as Al – Sisi recently commented, are the real enablers behind it all.

            1. olga

              You’re right – the British support for Muslim B-hood – in opposition to Nasser – is somewhat known. (Except, they got the script mixed-up and also killed (most likely) the US-supported Sadat. Oh, well…)
              In response to Alex – every society has discontents and marginalized members (for whatever reason) – it is up to the world (us) not to provide a reason for further – and possibly destructive – radicalization. So no, I did not read the article. Your summary was enough to know it is off-base. I travelled extensively in the 70s and 80s – and remember well occasional acts of terror around the world. Never anything remotely on today’s scale… That all started with Zia-ul-Haq’s great idea to draw in Russians to Afg. – which would then draw in US to help (and fund) Pakistan (and sell or give them lots of arms). The money also took a devious detour via Saudi Arabia… The rest-in hell Zbigniew B. (and the CIA) loved the plot. (Carter signed the secret order on all this on 7/3/79 – I always thought that’d be one question I’d ask ol’Jimmy C. – did he ever regret that piece of paper…

              1. Alex

                Wow, quite a lively discussion
                The article’s conclusions were based on the fact that most of the terrorists were not particularly religious before committing acts of terror in the name of Islam and also on the fact that most of the terrorists in W Europe were born and raised there (as opposed to refugees who are actually the people harmed by the interventions). If you know of a study that contradicts these facts or reaches different conclusion taking them into account, I’ll be happy to read it.
                The world was very different in 70s and 80s in many aspects, both political and economical. I’m definitely with you that we should strive not to provide the would-be radicals with reasons for radicalisation.

                1. makedoanmend

                  Maybe you could instead furnish us with a validated study that in any manner proves the hypothesis that people have changed the degree of their religiousity with specific reference to before and after carrying out such acts, and that such changes have been solely or largely motivated their so-called degree of religiousity. The guardian is not such as publication. I should also be very interested in how the study was conducted upon those who became suicide bombers.

                  It is also very possible, and is often the case, that first generation populations, especially given the relative ease of long distance travel these days, have a foot in both their current and former cultures.

            2. makedoanmend

              No it’s not. Responding to the original post. See the origin of the bit in between the quotes.

              I particularly liked Olga’s comment about the guardian, as if it’s the go-to neutral publication about anything at all.


        2. Alex Morfesis

          Effective hypnosis…without talking out of turn, “free” gaming apps can be designed to observe the susceptibility capacity of individuals with increased testing and reactions to filter thru to then focus on the 5 to 8 percent of any population highly vulnerable to manipulation…as the study described in the article you mention in the guardian points out…all these neo-jihadis were gamers…it is not difficult to trigger the darkness within a lost soul if one has evil intents…

          methynx these folks suiciding themselves for some magic road to one of the seven heavens is being induced by mindwarping…

          1. Jim Haygood

            “…all these neo-jihadis were gamers…”

            … as are, presumably, our hitmen heroes in the contractor trailers in Virginia and Nevada who do the pink-misting to keep our nation safe.

            Gamers vs. gamers … this could get ugly fast. :-0

    3. Allegorio

      Give me a break. The bomber was a Libyan recruited by the British to overthrow Gaddafi. Even if born in Britain, British Muslims have family in the countries being depopulated by Britain. The brutality of interventions not to mention the 100 years of occupation by the west of west Asia is certainly motivation enough, whether employed or not. Blow back is real and that realization will make Corbyn Britain’s next Prime Minister. Therese May has seriously miscalculated.

  27. CD

    Re — “Some of the GOP’s institutions …” from 538

    This article looks at the “stakeholders” in Trump’s circle. Very interesting.

    What’s very interesting is that none of these interest groups, or constituencies, see jobs for working class Americans as one of their major interests. How can such a primary concern elude each one?

    Of course, for Trump’s voters working class jobs are paramount. Interesting. My guess is that if this article is in the ballpark, the working class will get bupkus from Trump as far as jobs. So Trump may keep these interest groups happy but fail to be re-elected.

  28. Altandmain

    Apparently they are using pretty draconian means to defeat Standing Rock:

    Net neutrality?

    More class warfare:

    Oh, and Clinton interview on what it doesn’t say.

  29. lb

    Corbyn: “We must be brave enough to admit the ‘war on terror’ is simply not working,”

    This reminds me of a particularly biting strip of comic Get Your War On from just after GWB declared the War on Terror. Circa 2001:

    Beware when the U.S. declares war on a country, but more, beware when it declares war on something abstract or amorphous…

    1. Jim Haygood

      Man, I wish David Rees would reopen his savagely cynical and profane Get Your War On series.

      But it seems he signed off on Jan 20, 2009. I wonder what happened that day? ;-)

    2. John Wright

      When GWB first promoted the GWOT, I remember a question posed by the now Governor of California, Jerry Brown.

      He said: “How do you war against a technique?”

      He was mayor of Oakland, CA at the time, with probably many constituents who agreed with him.

      Of course, he would not be considered presidential timber with evidence of such heresy.

  30. Oregoncharles

    “British Airways cancels all flights from London after computer outage”

    Yet another example of system fragility caused by dependence on IT. Makes you wonder about depending on it in medical care, doesn’t it?

    There must be someone working on reducing the fragility of IT systems in general. Of course, there are all sorts of backups, but apparently they don’t do the job.

  31. Oregoncharles

    “India bans sale of unproductive cattle for slaughter”

    A final step into religious anti-rationality.

    Although the “sacred cow” is a favored western term for a dysfunctional social taboo, many years ago the functionalist anthropologist Marvin Harris documented that in reality, the economics worked out rather well as the system actually worked. The cattle produced both milk and traction animals, and mostly lived by scavenging in public spaces. Their sacred status protected them when they did that. But a key element was that they were actually slaughtered and eaten (as well as made into shoes, etc.) by both Muslims and “Untouchables.” That’s what made the latter “untouchable.”

    The larger point being that the system wasn’t quite as it appeared, and claimed, to be.

    By banning slaughter, the Indian government has finally made its religious fetish as irrational as Westerners supposed it to be.

    1. kareninca

      One person’s “irrational religious fetish” is another person’s heartfelt belief.
      I’m glad to see utilitarian precepts not applied to living creatures; it is a rare thing.

  32. Oregoncharles

    Footnote on: “A fire broke out in the lab where the plutonium cores of the US’s nuclear weapons are built AP”: Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican,

    We used to live in NM, and visited Bandelier, which is an important native ruin next door to Los Alamos. The Lab is important economically to Santa Fe; but the city is also directly downwind, and not very far. A forest fire a few years ago burnt into the Los Alamos reservation, too. Santa Fe has good reason to be very, very nervous about all that plutonium and piled-up nuclear waste.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Hanford, Los Alamos, every stinking nuclear power plant. Each provides sufficient justification to open Yucca Mountain. Short of pelletizing the waste and launching it into the sun, there is no other choice.

  33. Ernesto Lyon

    The Portland white supremacist who killed the two men on the train had a history of mental illness and violence.

    1. allan

      had a history of mental illness and violence

      So did James von Brunn, who killed a security guard and shot two others
      at the National Holocaust Museum in 2009.

      So did Jared Loughner, who assassinated a federal chief district judge,
      killed 5 others, and nearly killed Gabby Gifford, in Tucson in 2011.

      So did Dylann Roof, who assassinated a SC state senator and 8 others
      in the E.A.M. Episcopal Church in Charleston in 2015.

      And so did many others.

      Funny thing is that this `mental illness’ is almost always directed toward people of color, religious minorities and people who were thought to represent the Left or Big Government, and almost never directed at whites or symbols of the right. (Of course, the two Good Samaritans in Portland were white, but the originals targets were Muslim women.)


      Or not. Right wing talk radio and its more respectable mainstream cousins work on a principle that
      was discovered long ago: There are mentally ill people in the world. Put enough poison out there and some crazy person will act on it. And those ultimately responsible will have perfect deniability.

  34. LT

    Re: The Liberal Order Is Rigged…

    It kicks off with the worst assumption of the liberal order’s view of the world: that there are “good guys” with nuclear weapons for protection from the “bad guys.”

    Sophisticated racketeering…

  35. WeakenedSquire

    We’ll be better off after the US withdraws from the Paris agreement, and perhaps even the UNFCCC itself:

    This makes a great deal of sense to me. Who wants to give Rick Perry and Rex Tillerson seats at the table? Get the toxic Americans out of the room. The rest of the world will simply need to outcompete the United States; the more the US isolates itself, the easier this will be.

  36. LT

    More on “The Liberal Order Is Riggged”:

    To that end, Washington should be guided by three principles. First, global integration must be accompanied by a set of domestic policies that will allow all economic and social classes to share the gains from globalization in a way that is highly visible to voters. Second, international cooperation must be balanced with national interests to prevent overreach, especially when it comes to the use of military force. Third, Washington should nurture a uniquely American social identity and a national narrative. That will require othering authoritarian and illiberal countries…”

    Totally blind to the authoritarian features like the brand of surveillance capitalism we’re now mired within and nothing about the importance of unravelling the surveillance state.
    Trust is a two way street.

  37. Jessica

    The ban on the sale of unproductive cattle in India is also an attack on Dalits (untouchables), not just Muslims. In the eyes of caste supremacists, Muslims are seen as just uppity Dalits who are trying to pass as actual human beings.
    The attempt to rigidly enforce Hindu pieties has already led to violent attacks on Dalits and some deaths. This is part of the general campaign to Hinduize Indian society (Hindutva) and is no better than white supremacy and segregation in the US or apartheid in South Africa and deserves the same condemnation.

  38. crittermom

    I really enjoyed the article about cowbirds. I’m now left to wonder which species of bird is raising the young of my local pair of cowbirds?
    Nature articles are always a nice antidote to all the depressing news that sometimes has me screaming, “Are you kidding me?!” at my computer, as well.

    Love today’s Antidote du jour, too. With Trump in office, even the animals need to pray as he chooses to ignore nature’s beauty in this world in the name of greed and profit.
    Thanks, Lambert.

  39. Enquiring Mind

    Yves wrote recently about preppers and 1% (paraphrasing) securing shelter compounds. As an aid to the 99% in grappling with such concerns, there may be some benefit in adding some as-yet undefined factor or metric about that trend to supplement the greed/rapture index.

    Alternatively, perhaps there is some shadow market in eschatological futures, similar to how political contests or other crowd-source-able quantification or monetization. That could put some number(s) to a vague unease felt by so many. Working Title: Call it a Hunger Games Appetizer or Dessert Index. That title needs marketing input.

  40. allan

    Regents throw parties at UC’s expense [SF Chronicle]

    The night before the University of California Board of Regents voted to raise student tuition to help cash-strapped campuses, they threw themselves a party at the luxury Intercontinental Hotel in San Francisco and billed the university. The tab for the Jan. 25 banquet: $17,600 for 65 people, or $270 a head.

    It wasn’t the only pricey dinner UC’s volunteer governing board put on for themselves at the university’s expense.

    Two weeks ago, on May 17, the regents threw a $15,199 party at San Francisco’s elegant Palace Hotel for 59 people — a $258-a-head event also billed to the university. Hours earlier, angry students shut down the regents meeting, shouting “greedy” in protest of the tuition increase and revelations by State Auditor Elaine Howle that the university president’s office kept $175 million in secret funds. The day after the party, regents defended UC President Janet Napolitano after Howle presented her audit — but agreed to her recommendations.

    Documents obtained by The Chronicle show that Napolitano’s office reimbursed the regents for more than $225,000 in dinner parties since 2012. During that period, the regents held four to six dinner parties a year for themselves, their spouses and other guests. …

    Expressed in HRC units, $225,000 is just one speech, so what’s the big deal?

  41. freedeomny

    Catnip repels mosquitoes – hmmm- who knew? Thanks for “another” summer project :) I have both a cat and a dog and they both love catnip. I don’t agree with all the heartworm chemicals the vet suggests for the dog (they suggest putting it on your pet every month for their entire life)….also heartworm is not pervasive in NY State like some others. I’ve been very successful with bi yearly heartworm tests and topical essential oil sprays – although will do k-9 topical (it has a mosquito repellent/tick & flea killer) for 3 months in really hot weather. I do have a distiller for essential oils so the catnip will be interesting to research….

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